The Spy Who Hung Her Laundry

By | July 25, 2019

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During the Revolutionary War, Anna Strong sent coded messages...via her clothesline. Source: (

The most effective spies are the ones that don't appear to be doing anything suspicious at all. They look as though they are going about their normal lives. During the Revolutionary War, when the British held New York City, one patriot woman hung her laundry to dry on her backyard clothesline alongside many other women doing exactly the same thing all over town. The only difference was that the items she hung on the clothesline were part of a secret code, and she was passing along valuable information simply by doing her laundry. Let's look at the story of Anna Strong, the spy who hung out her laundry.

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Actress Heather Lind portrays Anna Strong in TVs TURN: Washington's Spies. Source: (

A Long Time Long Islander

Anne Smith Strong's family had been in the New World for several generations when she was born in 1740. They had claimed land on Long Island in New York and built a large manor house on a point overlooking the bay. Anna lived in this house with her husband and children when the Revolutionary War broke out.